WHO: Omicrons are spreading at an unimaginable rate.

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Image source, AFP
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South Africa first recognized the Omicron variant.

Omicron the new variant coronavirus is rapidly spreading around the globe, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Cases of this heavily mutationated variant were confirmed in at least 77 countries.

At a press conference Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, WHO chief, said that the virus was likely in others who had not yet detected it.

Dr Tedros expressed concern that too little was done to combat the variant.

We have all learned that this virus is dangerously underestimated. He said that Omicron can cause less serious diseases, but the sheer volume of Omicron cases could overwhelm health systems.”

  • Is Omicron milder despite dodging immunity?
  • Why are boosters effective if there is a failure to work in two doses?
  • Low vaccination is a contributing factor to Omicron’s rise?

South Africa’s Omicron variant of the Omicron was identified for the first time in November. The country has seen an increase in Omicron infections since then. President Cyril Ramaphosa was found to be positive for Covid-19. He is experiencing only mild symptoms.

Omicron has spread to other countries, even though travel bans have been implemented in a few of its neighboring countries.

You can also find other developments

  • Coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 800,000. This is the largest recorded death rate from the pandemic.
  • Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, won support for Covid passes in England despite the largest revolt of members since he was elected PM
  • On Tuesday, the UK government announced that 11 of the countries listed on its travel red lists would be removed. Health Secretary Sajid Javid stated that Omicron had become so widespread that the regulations no longer serve any purpose.
  • Italy extended the state of emergency to 31 March 2022 due to concerns about Omicron. These measures give the government greater power to restrict travel and gather public opinion, than the ones that were supposed to end at the end December.
  • The Netherlands has announced that it will close all primary schools one week prior to the start of Christmas holiday. This is in an attempt to prevent infection.
  • Norway, amongst other things, has declared a prohibition on alcohol being served in bars or restaurants.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Dr Tedros reiterated concern about vaccine inequality, as Omicron has accelerated the rollout of booster shots in some countries.

Recent Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine studies showed that it produces far less neutralizing antibodies against Omicron strains than the original, however, this could be corrected by another booster jab.

Dr Tedros stated that boosters could play an “important role” in reducing the spread of Covid-19 but it was “a matter of prioritisation”.

The order is important. He said that boosters given to low-risk groups of severe illness or death can only endanger the lives of high-risk individuals who still have not received their first doses due to supply limitations.

In recent months, Covax has seen an increase in supplies. World health officials are concerned about a repetition of the shortage of 10 million doses in Covax, which was partly due to India’s suspension of exports in response to a spike in case numbers.

Some people in poorer countries are still waiting for a single dose.


Global vaccine rollout


Scroll table


World
107.6

8,471,850,118
China
180.6

2,622,808,050
India
95.5

1,331,399,226
US
144.0

484,190,896
Brazil
149.6

320,112,450
Indonesia
90.5

249,974,816
Japan
157.2

198,171,413
Mexico
105.3

137,169,511
Russia
93.1

135,853,932
Germany
160.4

134,541,383
Pakistan
59.5

133,901,703
Vietnam
134.7

132,266,442
Bangladesh
77.4

128,770,270
Turkey
143.1

121,655,651
UK
177.6

121,121,408
France
164.6

111,198,494
Iran
126.5

107,531,771
Italy
169.0

102,029,307
Thailand
138.9

97,177,327
Philippines
84.9

94,236,990
South Korea
174.4

89,497,928
Spain
166.5

77,827,910
Argentina
156.8

71,507,682
Canada
165.8

63,133,170
Colombia
117.8

60,385,993
Malaysia
165.5

54,238,218
Morocco
131.7

49,191,138
Saudi Arabia
136.1

48,088,092
Peru
133.1

44,385,015
Poland
116.9

44,200,031
Egypt
42.2

43,976,245
Chile
216.2

41,539,321
Australia
155.8

40,177,641
Uzbekistan
106.3

36,064,004
Taiwan
139.9

33,374,778
Sri Lanka
144.3

31,011,543
Cambodia
173.3

29,365,889
Cuba
255.9

28,960,590
Myanmar
52.4

28,707,770
South Africa
45.0

27,043,034
Ukraine
61.2

26,589,094
Venezuela
91.7

26,314,390
Ecuador
141.5

25,309,620
Netherlands
144.4

24,791,526
United Arab Emirates
221.7

22,146,899
Belgium
169.0

19,655,382
Nepal
64.6

19,157,444
Portugal
180.4

18,339,677
Kazakhstan
90.2

17,138,045
Sweden
163.2

16,584,289
Israel
175.7

16,325,016
Greece
150.0

15,551,964
Romania
80.4

15,380,867
Austria
167.9

15,185,442
Hungary
152.1

14,655,778
Czech Republic
134.2

14,388,658
Dominican Republic
127.3

13,943,820
Iraq
31.4

12,912,613
Switzerland
143.2

12,484,660
Algeria
27.6

12,293,060
Nigeria
5.3

11,193,780
Mozambique
34.5

11,099,580
Tunisia
91.6

10,937,504
Azerbaijan
106.6

10,894,072
Guatemala
57.9

10,573,206
Ethiopia
8.8

10,364,843
Angola
30.4

10,319,552
Rwanda
77.3

10,268,499
Denmark
175.7

10,214,910
Singapore
174.0

9,489,264
El Salvador
143.7

9,364,231
Norway
165.9

9,069,860
Honduras
89.7

9,030,824
Bolivia
75.5

8,937,595
Finland
160.7

8,913,569
Ireland
171.7

8,557,367
Kenya
14.9

8,178,645
Jordan
78.4

8,050,084
Serbia
117.1

8,046,012
New Zealand
153.8

7,879,005
Uganda
16.6

7,813,170
Turkmenistan
123.9

7,580,976
Costa Rica
140.5

7,222,020
Nicaragua
103.6

6,942,756
Zimbabwe
45.9

6,933,837
Uruguay
196.8

6,857,762
Belarus
70.7

6,677,937
Kuwait
153.3

6,636,245
Paraguay
87.6

6,324,638
Oman
113.6

5,934,585
Laos
79.0

5,830,021
Tajikistan
58.6

5,711,036
Panama
129.7

5,684,366
Afghanistan
13.1

5,228,706
Qatar
172.6

5,059,023
Slovakia
92.4

5,043,446
Ivory Coast
16.7

4,528,780
Mongolia
132.7

4,418,882
Croatia
107.4

4,381,704
Lithuania
144.0

3,872,942
Lebanon
56.3

3,807,958
Bulgaria
50.7

3,494,341
Ghana
11.0

3,493,688
Sudan
7.3

3,276,654
Palestinian Territories
59.8

3,121,061
Bahrain
174.3

3,047,351
Slovenia
132.6

2,757,168
Guinea
18.5

2,493,842
Libya
35.7

2,485,598
Georgia
58.1

2,311,840
Latvia
120.4

2,247,185
Albania
75.4

2,166,207
Kyrgyzstan
31.9

2,112,639
Togo
22.8

1,930,935
Senegal
11.2

1,928,411
Mauritius
147.3

1,875,132
Mauritania
37.6

1,795,467
Tanzania
2.8

1,699,523
Moldova
41.8

1,681,763
North Macedonia
80.5

1,675,793
Kosovo
91.7

1,633,364
Bosnia and Herzegovina
47.6

1,553,874
Malawi
7.6

1,501,147
Estonia
113.0

1,497,259
Botswana
61.9

1,483,181
Syria
7.8

1,422,377
Cyprus
155.2

1,390,192
Trinidad and Tobago
96.4

1,353,411
Armenia
45.6

1,352,805
Zambia
6.6

1,253,211
Fiji
137.9

1,245,234
Jamaica
39.1

1,161,250
Bhutan
148.0

1,154,093
Somalia
7.0

1,147,627
Benin
9.2

1,144,390
Timor-Leste
85.0

1,142,003
Malta
192.5

993,372
Niger
3.9

971,636
Cameroon
3.6

970,440
Mali
4.6

963,968
Luxembourg
147.6

937,282
Sierra Leone
11.3

923,880
Yemen
2.6

786,027
Maldives
143.2

778,312
Brunei
174.8

771,983
Madagascar
2.6

742,069
Namibia
26.9

697,262
Iceland
200.7

689,243
Guyana
87.0

687,627
Congo
12.1

686,096
Burkina Faso
3.1

661,796
Lesotho
29.5

635,881
Liberia
11.5

597,913
Cape Verde
97.9

550,192
Montenegro
86.5

543,569
Comoros
58.9

523,256
Suriname
81.8

483,838
Papua New Guinea
5.1

467,166
Equatorial Guinea
30.8

446,624
Central African Republic
8.9

436,772
Belize
101.8

412,002
Guinea-Bissau
19.3

388,626
Eswatini
29.4

344,255
Gabon
14.4

328,721
Barbados
101.8

292,896
Bahamas
72.6

288,008
Chad
1.6

275,026
Gambia
10.9

271,166
South Sudan
2.3

257,941
Samoa
124.3

248,729
DR Congo
0.2

219,768
Solomon Islands
29.6

208,046
Jersey
190.0

192,065
Haiti
1.6

184,769
Seychelles
181.4

179,462
Vanuatu
45.0

141,490
Isle of Man
156.4

133,546
Sao Tome and Principe
59.4

132,705
Cayman Islands
189.1

125,717
Tonga
112.0

119,535
Antigua und Barbuda
120.3

118,765
Djibouti
10.9

108,945
Bermuda
171.6

106,520
Andorra
137.6

106,428
Guernsey
164.8

104,457
Saint Lucia
55.7

102,696
Gibraltar
303.2

102,158
Kiribati
67.7

82,167
Faroe Islands
159.7

78,347
Greenland
137.4

78,120
Grenada
66.5

75,154
St Vincent and the Grenadines
51.1

56,838
Turks and Caicos Islands
143.6

56,343
Dominica
77.8

56,179
Liechtenstein
142.2

54,402
Saint Kitts and Nevis
99.9

53,486
Monaco
126.5

49,980
San Marino
143.1

48,672
British Virgin Islands
115.0

34,992
Cook Islands
138.4

24,326
Anguilla
134.1

20,284
Nauru
136.7

14,863
Tuvalu
101.6

12,114
Saint Helena
129.5

7,892
Falkland Islands
124.9

4,407
Burundi
0.028

3,396
Montserrat
59.2

2,949
Niue
145.7

2,352
Tokelau
141.5

1,936
Pitcairn
200.0

94
British Indian Ocean Territory
0

0
Eritrea
0

0
North Korea
0

0
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
0

0
Vatican
0

0

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Source: BBC.com

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